Mixed feelings for Norwich pubs after Budget outlined

Pubs will be able to sell takeaway pints after the government ditched previous plans to ban the sale

Norwich publicans have shared their view on what the Budget means to them - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Norwich publicans have welcomed chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget, but some believe more could have been done for wet-led businesses.

With all alcohol duties to be frozen for a second year and no extra tax on beer, wine, cider or spirits, some landlords have said they are feeling confident they can stay afloat once they welcome customers back. 

Louise Wilding, landlady of The Reindeer on Dereham Road, said: "I think it is all very promising and they are clearly trying to get businesses back up and running.

"We are really pleased we can open on April 12 with our outdoor garden areas so I think the announcement is really good and another step in the right direction." 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

But Richard Dixon, pubs protection officer for Norwich CAMRA, said he would have liked to have seen more support for wet-led pubs in the Budget. 

He said: "Duty should have been raised on supermarket beer, or perhaps I should say dropped for pubs, so that they have a better chance of trading or competing with supermarkets.


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"A lot of pubs do not have outside areas and do not serve food so they are not getting any advantage from the Budget at all. Beer rates have been held back for three months but I think they could have done more to help compete with the cheapness of supermarkets.

"Many businesses will be struggling with such high overheads and thousands of pubs will be closing across the country, so we have got to keep our fingers crossed there won't be many more."

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The furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September, which has also been welcomed by local publicans.

Phil Cutter, the landlord at the Murderers in the city centre, said: "The furlough announcement is massive. I won't have to make all my staff redundant and I am pleased for them. 

Phil Cutter, landlord of The Gardeners Arms & Murderers Cafe Bar on Timberhill in Norwich, watching

Phil Cutter, landlord of The Gardeners Arms & Murderers Cafe Bar on Timberhill in Norwich, watching the budget announcement Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

"The wage bill is over £3,000 a week at the moment so it does not take a genius to figure out that over a year, or even six months, that will cost around £75,000. You obviously can't run a business when you are not taking any money and pay your staff." 

Mr Cutter rated the Budget as "a nine out of 10", but said he was a little disappointed the duty on beer and minimum price of beer had not been reduced. 

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